solar estimator for hot water and electric

measure_twiceMay 18, 2007

This is for the US market based on Canadian software. It will give a very complete analysis of inital cost and payback with many financial breakdowns. It did not ask for my name, email, or other personal information. I prefer that.

On the main site below, "Find Solar", look to the left for a button "My Solar Estimator". Fill in the blanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: find solar - my solar estimator

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Assumed Installation cost: $81,000
I used 220142 Kilowatts last year, with an avarage bill of $197.00

I don't freaking think so.
This doesn't seem to be anywhere near reality for total installation of solar.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 5:26PM
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That can't be right. Your 220142 figure (must be kiloWatthours, not kiloWatts, right?) would be a staggering 18,345 kWh per month. With a bill of $197 per month average that would mean that you're paying only about a penny per kWh, which makes no sense at all.

Check your figures and try again.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 3:47AM
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I called the electric company back this morning and found out the the little girl that I talked to yesterday was waaaayyyyy off.
I used 22,142 KWh last year.
That makes my Assumed Installation cost: $76,500 which still seems way too high to be real.
I thought that the cost of solar had come way down and figured I wouldn't have to spend more than $20,000 for a system.
Guess I need to call around and get some real estimates.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 9:58AM
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that thign says my house would require 15.5 Kw solar, and cost 137k for the systme to provide HALF my power needs. not hardly.

yes, my usage is around 3500kwh a month. hopefully that average will be dropping soon, we recently put in a new heat pump so the high bills over winter, from the old 20KW electric strip heat system, should drop considerably. last year this time our usuage was 5000kwh, this year it was 3350 and this august was hotter than last!

plus we just last week disconnected a 30+ year old deepfreezer, so the usage should drop a little more. heck it may even be older than that. my mom and stepdad have been married for 23 years, the freezer was my step-grandmothers, and it was old the first time i went to her house way back then. it ran continuously, whereas the other deep freezer we have at least cycles only once every few hours.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 3:01PM
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Don't forget guys, $81,000 installation but $100,000 added value. Imagine when you're ready to sell the place and the buyers know they have free energy! Priceless.

I've been investing and into solar and fuel cells for 5 yrs. Now it's time to do something.

I found a solar kit for $20,000 for 1500 sq ft house.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 9:13PM
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Also rebates! CT gives you $18225 rebate for a $40,000 system installed. Federal tax credit for $2000. + raise the value of your property.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 9:19PM
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MS does not offer any rebates. we have cheap electric, avg is around 9 cents per kwh.

also around here the increase in value was estimated to be only 90k on a 137k system! why do that to LOSE 47k?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 1:23PM
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Valentin Energy Software have 2 simple to use online calculations for hot water and electric. The company is based in Germany but offers also english software.

Here is a link that might be useful: solar-software

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 6:30PM
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I ran my numbers for 3000 kw and they're talking a $27,000 install, less 9,000 in incentives for a cost of $18,000. I think they use a base of $9/watt which is a little tall. One of my China importing sites has a new 250 watt high efficiency panel for short money. The only problem is I need to buy a container (shipping) of them. eBay I guess.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 8:38PM
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I live in Florida and to go PV on my house I've gotten 2 quotes. One company states it would cost about 8-9 dollars per watt where the other comapny says about 7 dollar per watt So either I spend between 35,000to 45,000 on a 5 KW system. That is about 25-30 panels on a 5KW system. Florida pays back 4 dollars per watt or about half of the system to a max of 20,000 and the USA give a 2000 rebate on your taxes. It is well worth it on my house where i use about 20KWH per day and in the winter less. if you live in a windy area why not get a wind turbine

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 11:39PM
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Wow, this board doesn't get much traffic! But thank-you (a year+ later) to Measure Twice for the find solar link. This is exactly the information I needed. That is, how much of a system would be required to put out how much electricity, and even a ballpark cost.

What I learned is that I might actually be able to get a system that will fit my roof, will give me enough energy to be worth bothering with, and will be within my budget. I.e., it's worth going further with the research. Yeah! Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 1:34AM
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So far you have no info for solar thermal water heating. It is foolish to heat water with PV or wind electric power because the conversion losses are very high.
Solar thermal beats electric, gas, wood, heat pump, or coal heated water. All that is needed is an 80 watt circulation pump (about 10 cents a day) to run the solar loop. A backup source may be needed and the current heating source may suffice. I use a Coaxial Vacuum Tube type collector because the gain is unaffected by cold ambient temps. I have used two hours (timed) of backup since March '08 and we have lots and lots of hot water in a 80 gallon system that cost me under 4 thou with self install. My suggestion is to do the simplest and highest payback stuff first, and that includes efficient lights and appliances and tightening up the abode, otherwise money spent on renewables is wasted.
Solar thermal with many more CVT's and a larger tank is also a great saving for space heating but requires a proportionately larger investment up front, still FAR less than PV electric. I don't know why this info is kept in the closet. The bottom line is dollars for watts or BTU's, right?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 8:03PM
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Check out this guy's site regarding solar rental programs.....

Also, anyone living in Florida will waste money installing solar hot water...A heat recovery unit on their AC will provide free hot water AND increase the efficiency of the AC equipment.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 6:42AM
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The solar estimator noted in the May 18, 2008 link has moved... from to

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 9:47PM
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